Prosper Ortega's family says just six months ago, she was a happy 23-year-old bride. Photos show her beaming and posing with her growing belly. Their child, Ari, would be born June 16th.
Now, Prosper in the hospital in serious condition after that same husband, Aaron Uchitel, is charged with aggravated battery, false imprisonment, and cruelty to children. Ortega's family says he tortured her for days, drugging her beverages to keep her weak.
Prosper's family says it all happened in front of their weeks-old infant baby boy.
The pictures of injuries are difficult to see, but Ortega's family says she insisted they post them because she wanted people to see what had happened to her.
Ortega, and her mother, Fawn, have worked with domestic violence victims and helped to combat sex trafficking. They believe Uchitel threatened to leave with the baby, so Prosper initially endured the abuse believing it would make him stay.
She wanted to make sure "people are aware this can happen, and that it happened to her and she couldn't believe it because she loved him so much," said Fawn Ortega.
The couple had a fight last November and Uchitel had been ordered to take an anger management class. Ortega says Uchitel talked positively about the program, making it even harder to reconcile what happened to her daughter.
"Her ribs are broken. He beat her ribs and breast saying her milk was useless and she was worthless," said Ortega. "He tried to blind her so she couldn't see her baby, he tried to make her deaf so she couldn't hear him crying for her."
According to Ortega, when her daughter broke a window and tried to run away, the husband tied her to the bed and cut off her hair. He also tried to rip out her teeth and bite off her top lip.
Ortega says her daughter was stabbed in the chest and the back of her leg. She was within hours of dying when the mother forced her way inside the house to save her daughter.
"I fought him. I fought him. I just went in there and I fought him," she said.
The horrific story, and the photos to go with it, have gone viral. Prosper faces multiple medical procedures, and the online community has rallied around that need, donating more than $47,000 in three days.
Ortega says what she needs most is for her daughter to heal, emotionally and physically. "I just want her to be okay and I just want to make sure he doesn't get out because she's terrified he's going to get out."
Aaron Uchitel remained in jail as of Monday. Because of the holiday, police could not comment on the case, nor could we get information from the jail on Uchitel's next court appearance.
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